WORCESTER, Mass. – Zach Boychuk scored the game winning goal on a 5-on-3 power play 1:49 into the third period as the Charlotte Checkers doubled up the Worcester Sharks, 4-2, on Saturday evening.
Jerome Samson was a major catalyst in the Checkers offense, recording three assists, while Jacob Micflikier, Chris Terry and Jon Matsumoto added goals for the Checkers. Justin Pogge made 41 saves and was named the game’s first star, recording his seventh win of the season. Joe Loprieno and Matt Irwin scored the two goals for the Sharks.
With the win, Charlotte improves to 6-1-0 in its last seven games.
The Checkers opened the scoring at the 5:02 mark of the opening period after a defensive zone turnover by the Sharks. Terry fired a shot towards the net along the ice, from the left-wing half-wall and it made its way through a screen and past Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock. Samson picked up the second assist on the play.
Loprieno knotted the game at 11:38 for the Sharks. Jason Pitton took a shot from the point that Pogge looked to have covered, however Loprieno was able to dislodge the puck and put it in the net.
The Sharks would take a 2-1 lead with 2:30 remaining in the opening period. Brandon Mashinter broke into the zone and centered the puck to Irwin, who was wide open in the slot. Pogge was able to get a piece of the Irwin shot with his left arm, but the puck ended up in the back of the net.
Micflikier converted a tic-tac-toe passing play for his 10th goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2, 10:17 into the second period. Zac Dalpe kept a Worcester clearing attempt in the zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Drayson Bowman. Bowman then fed Micflikier in front, who put it over Stalock.
The Checkers had two glorious opportunities in the final minute of the second period but Stalock stood tall. Bowman broke in alone first and Stalock dove out of his net to poke the puck away before making a desperation save off his mask, seconds later, to rob Matsumoto of the go-ahead goal.
Charlotte began the third period with a 5-on-3 power play for 1:56. In the late stages of the two-man-advantage, Boychuk scored to give his team a 3-2 lead. Samson took the initial shot from the bottom of the right-wing circle. He collected the rebound and made the pass to Boychuk in front who made no mistake, converting his ninth goal of the season.
Matsumoto, in his first game back with the Checkers, added an insurance marker into the empty net with five seconds to go in the game as Charlotte walked away with a 4-2 victory.
Charlotte (12-8-3) will play the final game of its three-game road trip Sunday in Hershey before returning home on Sunday, Dec. 5 and Monday, Dec. 6 to host the Syracuse Crunch. Holiday packs are now on sale and include four games, a merchandise certificate and a puck for as low as $35. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
NOTES: The Checkers are 6-1-0 in their last seven games...Zach Boychuk is on a five-game point streak (2g, 6a) and is third in the league in points with 23 (9g, 15a)...Jerome Samson is on a four-game point streak (1g, 6a) and is currently tied for fourth in the AHL in goals (12)… Bryan Rodney is on a four-game point streak (2g, 2a) and has eight points (2g, 6a) in his last seven games…Zac Dalpe has nine goals in his last ten games (9g, 4a), while Jacob Micflikier has ten points (6g, 4a) in his last nine games… Justin Pogge has won seven of his last eight decisions.
Charlotte Checkers 4 at Worcester Sharks 2 - Status: Final
Saturday, November 27, 2010 - DCU Center
Charlotte 1 1 2 - 4
Worcester 2 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Terry 9 (Samson, Nash), 5:02. 2, Worcester, Loprieno 1 (Pitton, Leach), 11:38. 3, Worcester, Irwin 2 (Mashinter, Marcou), 17:30. Penalties-Petrecki Wor (interference), 1:30; Blanchard Cha (fighting), 17:33; Pitton Wor (fighting), 17:33.
2nd Period-4, Charlotte, Bowman 3 (Dalpe), 10:17. Penalties-Dalpe Cha (delay of game), 15:15; Sullivan Wor (hooking), 19:56; Petrecki Wor (roughing), 20:00.
3rd Period-5, Charlotte, Boychuk 9 (Samson, Rodney), 1:49 (PP). 6, Charlotte, Matsumoto 4 (Samson), 19:54. Penalties-Osala Cha (cross-checking), 2:49; Nash Cha (tripping), 16:13.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 13-8-17-38. Worcester 15-14-14-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 3; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Charlotte, Pogge 6-5-0 (43 shots-41 saves). Worcester, Stalock 9-6-1 (38 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Bob Paquette (18).